Environmental Technology Sectors

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Environmental technology „Made in Austria“

Austria’s environmental technology sectors belong to the the most innovative in the world and are growing faster than the domestic economy as a whole.

Environmental technology "Made in Austria" is: 

  • Particularly fast growing
  • Innovative
  • Dynamic and
  • Technologically very highly developed.

Eco-innovations are key factors for climate protection, energy- and resource-efficiency as well as for the circular flow economy. Austrian companies already occupy an excellent position in the environmental and energy technology sector today and stand for high-quality products and systems. Thus the Austrian environment sectors do not only contribute to Austria worth living but also to liveable conditions worldwide. They create jobs and strengthen the Austrian and ultimately the European competitive position.

Environmental technology sector© Shutterstock

Umweltwirtschaft und Gesamtwirtschaft, Veränderung von 2008 bis 2014 in Prozent.

In 2014, domestic companies generated revenues of around EUR 35.4 billion through environmentally-oriented production and services, which corresponds to approximately 10.7% of gross domestic product (GDP). This ,environmental turnover’ was generated by a workforce of 181,820 people. The domestic environment and the number of environmental workers are characterized by growth in recent years. For example, sales in the manufacturing of environmental technology have more than fivefold since 1993. The results of the economic barometer also clearly show that exports could be increased in 2014 from almost all relevant areas. In 2014, the export rate was 88.2%. This success of the companies is sometimes justified by the consistent and committed Austrian environmental policy.

Austria is particularly active in the field of hydroelectric power, biomass, solar thermal energy, in the field of ecological construction, but also in classical environmental engineering industries, such as (Eg the world's highest passive house density, 10% of all EU Smart City projects, world market leaders in glass recycling, etc.). This success is also attributable to a very marked innovation activity in the Austrian environment, especially in the field of renewable energy technologies.


Investments in research and development are central factors for continuous growth, productivity and consolidation of the competitiveness of Austrian companies. The research rate, which is the gross domestic expenditure on R & D as a percentage of the gross domestic product, rose sharply in recent years according to Statistics Austria for Austria in the overall economy - from 2.68% in 2011 to 2.96% in 2013. Since 2014 it has been over 3%. In comparison to the EU, Austria stands at 3.07% in 2014 (the last year for which international comparisons of national research quotas are available) behind Finland (3.17%) and Sweden (3.16%), just ahead of Denmark 3.05%) and Germany (2.87%), but well above the EU-28 average of 2.03% (Source: Statistik Austria). According to the results of the economic barometer, the R & D expenditure of the environmental technology companies in 2014 is 2.4%. Environmental technology companies have long recognized R & D as a door opener in order to tackle new target markets with various federal initiatives (for example "Best of Austria",

the "Export Initiative Environmental Technologies" or "go-international").

International comparative studies prove Austria's leading position in eco-innovation. Austria's environmental technology is in the international top field, above all with regard to innovation activities and innovation outsourcing. For example, Austria is a leader in environmental patents across the EU. Developments in passive house technology, waste management and recycling, renewable energy technologies, resource efficiency and energy efficiency are particularly noteworthy.

In addition to legal requirements (for example, the Green Electricity Act), state-funded, state-sponsored programs, such as the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology, are the main drivers of the successful eco-innovations "Made in Austria" and the growth of the domestic environment. The promotion of environmental protection by the federal government and the funding actitivies of the Climate and Energy Fund (KLI.EN), the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) and Austria Wirtschaftsservice (aws).